Paleontology: Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds - University of Alberta

Learn about the theropod saga that spans over 200 million years of evolution and includes the largest carnivores to ever walk the earth, but also the smallest vertebrates to ever fly.


In this 5-lesson MOOC, students enter the world of dinosaurs. For over 160 million years, dinosaurs ruled the world, and dinosaurs, in turn, were ruled by the theropods. Theropod dinosaurs include some poster children of paleontology, such as Allosaurus, Velociraptors, and Tyrannosaurus rex. Theropods also include a diverse array of herbivores and fliers, including the ancestors of sparrows and finches you see today.

Connecting the descent of modern birds to the same lineages as the Tyrannosaurus rex took over a century of paleontological research and many spectacular fossil discoveries. Join the University of Alberta’s top paleontologists as they explore the evolution and ecology of the only dinosaurs that beat extinction.

Register through Coursera to begin!


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Interactive Learning Objects (ILO)